Sunglasses important in eye protection

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Just like your skin needs sunscreen to protect from damaging UV rays, your eyes need some screening of their own.

"There are cancers of the eye, cancers of the surface of the eye as well as inside the eye, long term problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts can be linked to sun exposure," said ophthalmologist Dr. Thomas Stuckey.

Stuckey went on to say that your eyes can even get sunburned, a condition known as photokeratitis.  However, protecting your eyes from overexposure is as easy as slipping on some sunglasses. The hard part is picking the right pair.

"First thing they need to do is identify their need, what they're going to be doing in their sunshades," said Oakley store manager Angelle Neal. "The next thing they're going to need to do is make sure that they have a shade that provides UV protection."

Neal suggests that athletes or anyone who works outside look for glasses with a good fit that will keep glasses in place.  She added that the color of the lens can also help.

"There's actually lens colors that can enhance at different times of the day, different backgrounds," said Neal.

While style is definitely important, Neal says it's also important to think about comfort. You're more likely to wear a pair of protective shades if they fit well. Neal says to focus on the fit on the nose and behind the ears.

While name brand sunshades like Oakley offer a lot of different features like polarized lens, trendy frames and fracture resistant lenses, doctors say the price tag does not measure protection.  Five dollar glasses can protect as well as a pair that costs $150, as long as they are rated for 100 percent UV protection.

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